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Initial letter medicinal (Betonica officinalis L


Initial letter is a herb used in folk medicine to treat liver diseases, digestion, colds, and also to stop pulmonary and uterine bleeding. There is no shortage in the initial letter - the grass grows everywhere, in the moderate and warm strip of Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and other countries.

Initial letter has astringent, hemostatic effect, heals wounds, normalizes blood pressure and much more.

Botanical Description

Initial letter medicinal (syn. Initial letter black, Stachis officinalis, Chistets officinalis, lat Betonica officinalis, Stachys officinalis) grows mainly in meadows, in thickets, on hills and groves, in forest plantations, along forest roads and in cemeteries. A perennial herbaceous plant with a straight, tetrahedral, woolly stem up to 1 meter high.

Initial letter grows everywhere like a weed

  • Flowers small capsules of the officinalis are large, irregular, bisexual, subpestuous, sitting in the axils of the upper leaves with multi-flowered half-whorls, collected at the end of the stem with an oblong, in the lower part often intermittent, spike-shaped inflorescence, bracts ovate, sharp, ciliated, almost equal in length with cups. It blooms from late June to September.
  • Cup irreversible, regular, bell-shaped, about five equal teeth, short-haired, calyx teeth triangular, spinous, half the length of the tube. Corolla is falling, light purple, rarely white, two-lipped, covered with a frequent fluff on the outside, corolla tube longer than calyx, slightly curved, without ring of hairs inside, upper lip oblong-ovate, whole or notched at the apex, concave, initially upright, then flap, the lower lip is three-lobed, inclined, with a wider, rounded, small-banded middle lobe.
  • Stamens among four, two-stiff, not reaching the middle of the upper lip, stamen filaments are thin, adhered to the corolla with the lower part, free above, remaining parallel and after flowering, two-nosed anthers with almost parallel anther bags.
  • Pestle with a four-nested, four-lobed upper ovary, sitting on a glandular disk, a threadlike column, almost equal in length with stamens, ending in a bifid stigma.
  • Rhizome perennial, fibrous, short, sheer.
  • Stem erect, 30–60 (100) cm high, simple, more or less woolly from long stiff hairs.
  • Leaves opposite, petiolate, oblong-ovate, obtuse, crustacean, heart-shaped, wrinkled at the base, covered with rough hairs on both sides, basal leaves with very long, middle ones with shorter petioles, the upper ones are almost sessile.
  • Fetus dry, consisting of four oblong, trihedral, convex, smooth brown single seed nuts outside, sitting at the bottom of the remaining calyx. Fruits ripen in Central Russia in July - October.

The grass of the initial letter has a rather strong, peculiar smell and a slightly bitter, sugary taste. Medicinal raw materials, grass of the initial flower, are harvested during flowering - from June to September.

Initial letter medicinal in traditional medicine

Initial letter contains bitterness and tannins. By its effect on the body, it is an astringent, expectorant, mild laxative and partially diuretic.

Preparations from the initial letter of the drug are contraindicated in pregnant women. All others require a strict dosage of medicinal raw materials in the preparation of drugs.

Most often, in traditional medicine, bronchitis, hemorrhoids, cystitis, epilepsy, migraine and other diseases are treated with drugs from the initial letter. For the treatment of liver diseases, the herb is used as an initial medicine, alone or in a mixture with other herbs.

Preparations from the rhizomes of the initial letters have an emetic and laxative effect. A decoction of the roots treats diseases of the liver, kidneys, gastritis, colitis, etc. Also, gout, sciatica, and cystitis are treated with drugs from the initial letter.

Initial capsule herbs have a calming effect, normalize metabolism, relieve nervous excitement, and help with kidney diseases, atherosclerosis, and hypertension.

Healers use cap-based drugs to stop pulmonary and uterine bleeding.

Preparations from the initial letter of medicine: methods of use

Decoction initial letters herbs: (5 grams of dry raw materials per 200 ml of water), one teaspoon of herbs is steamed in a glass of boiling water, take 1/3 cup 3 times a day.

Decoction of the roots initial letters of medicine: Pour 20 grams of dry roots of the initial letter with a glass of boiling water and boil over low heat for 20 minutes, strain, cool and take orally for 1 tbsp. spoon 3 times a day as a laxative.

Powder: dose - from 1.0 to 3.0 grams 3 times a day.

Herbal tea from the initial letter of medicine: (5 grams of dry grass, a teaspoon, a quarter liter of boiling water) brew boiling water and leave for a quarter hour, strain and use inside or mouth rinse once a day. Initial letter herbal tea helps with asthma and profuse mucus sputum.

Leaf infusion initial letters of medicine: Pour 1 tbsp. spoonful of dried leaves of the initial letter with a medicinal glass of boiling water and insist in a warm place over strain. Take the infusion 4 times a day before meals in a spoon. An infusion of cap drop grass lowers blood pressure and has a calming effect.

Infusion of roots and leaves initial letters of medicine: take ½ tbsp. tablespoons of dry grass and dried roots of the initial letter, mix and pour a glass of boiling water, insist for at least two hours, strain and take orally 1 time a day. spoon of infusion as a diuretic and choleretic agent.

Infusion of grass initial letters of medicine: pour a glass of boiling water 2 tbsp. tablespoons of initial grass and boil over low heat for 5 minutes, insist half an hour and strain, add 50 grams of port wine (strong wine). Use infusion 3 times a day before meals, 70 grams for pulmonary hemorrhage.

Tincture of flowers initial letters of medicine: in a half-liter jar, pour crushed dry flowers of the initial letter of medicine to 1/3, and then fill with vodka to the edges of the jar. Place the jar in a dark, warm place for two weeks, then strain. Tincture of flowers helps with hypertension, fainting and diseases of the nervous system. Take dropwise dissolved in a small amount of water.

Collection and harvesting of raw materials

For the treatment of diseases, grass is used (the upper parts of Betonica officinalis about 30 cm long), leaves located at the roots and sometimes directly to the roots. Raw materials should be harvested during flowering.

The grass is dried in the shade under a canopy or in a room with good ventilation. The initial letter is laid out on paper or textile material with a thin layer and stirred regularly. Dry grass and leaves are stored in a dry place for two years. The roots can be prepared in the fall, during the wilting period. They are dug up, cleaned from the ground, washed, cut into pieces. The raw materials are dried in a warm and necessarily dry room. Parts of the roots should be laid out on paper or textile in one layer.

Medicinal properties, application, treatment

Concrete, or the letter is endowed with an anti-inflammatory property. It also has a diuretic and laxative effect on the human body, helps with the accumulation of sputum and bile. Initial letter normalizes the activity of the central nervous system, as well as relieve pain and stop bleeding. Drugs based on it stabilize the digestive system and metabolism, improve blood circulation, normalize blood pressure.

In healing and traditional medicine, concrete is used to cure bronchial tubes and lung diseases, including tuberculosis, cough, tracheitis, whooping cough. It is also used for gastrointestinal diseases of gastritis, hepatitis, diarrhea.

Shrike is effective against chronic or acute glomerulonephritis and other kidney diseases. Medicines from the roots are used as emetic and laxative.

Outwardly, the preparations of this plant are used in the treatment of varicose veins with ulcerative complications, melanoma, and sweating in the legs.

Dosage Forms and Doses

  • A decoction of concrete. 2 tbsp. l dried cap on one cup of boiling water. To the mixture add 30-40 grams of port and then cook over low heat for about 4-5 minutes. After this, the broth should be removed from the heat, insist 20 minutes, strain well. Such a decoction should be taken in 2 tbsp. l 2 times a day.
  • Tincture of grass concrete. 2 tbsp. l finely chopped herbs in dry form should be poured with a glass of boiled water, leave for about an hour and strain thoroughly. You need to drink tincture for 1 tbsp. l., 3-4 times a day.
  • A decoction of rhizomes of shrike. 3 tbsp. l dry roots need to be poured with one glass of boiled water, cook over low heat for about 15 minutes, leave for 10 minutes and strain thoroughly. The broth is taken according to 1 tbsp. l 3 times a day as a laxative. As for the application on the skin, externally, such a liquid can be used in the form of lotions from melanoma.

For treating cuts, wounds and ulcerative inflammations

25 grams of dry grass should be poured about, 2 liters of water, then evaporated to half the original volume, insist for 1 hour and carefully strain. Affected areas should be washed with textile material moistened in decoction for 5-15 minutes, then wait until the liquid completely evaporates from the skin. Such procedures are carried out 1-3 times a day, until complete healing, which usually occurs after 3-14 days, depending on the severity of the lesion.

Alcohol tincture

It is believed that such a tincture is effective for uterine bleeding, which is caused by inflammatory processes. Dry chopped grass should be poured with alcohol concentration 40 or vodka, one to one. The mixture is insisted for 14 days in a dark place, shaking regularly, then filtered. Tincture is taken in one tsp. tinctures diluted with water, 2-3 times a day.

In medicine

Initial letter is not included in the State Pharmacopoeia of the Russian Federation and is not used by official medicine. Meanwhile, the medicinal properties of the drop cap in the past were widely used in medicine, it was used as a laxative and emetic, as well as for respiratory diseases, for healing wounds and cuts. At present, the medicinal properties of the initial capsule are undeservedly forgotten by Russian medicine and the fact that they do not find use is probably due to the poor knowledge of the plant.

However, in a number of countries (Germany, France, etc.), the initial letter is recognized as scientific medicine and is the official medicinal raw material. Initial drugs are recommended by the medicinal medicine of these countries for the treatment of gout, epilepsy, as well as for radiculitis, rheumatism and bronchial diseases. The powder from the dried grass of the initial letter is used as a snuff for headaches and a runny nose.

G. Sobolevsky also confirms that the medicinal letter has been used in official medicine in many foreign countries and there are experimental studies of scientific medicine that the plant can withstand many serious infectious diseases, suppress rabies viruses, stimulate the immune system, cleanse the body of harmful toxic substances (detoxification).

The main active ingredients of the initial letter of medicine (bitterness, tannins) have found some application in homeopathy as a strengthening agent for weakness and asthma.

Herb cap is used in the drug - Bad NSP Eight (Eight NSP), recommended primarily for improving the state of the nervous system (for depression, anxiety, insomnia). The drug also has antioxidant properties and normalizes the digestive tract

Serious side effects when using the initial letter of the drug have not been identified, in general, treatment is usually well tolerated. But before using it, you need to consult a doctor. Letter treatment is not recommended for pregnant women, lactating women and children, as well as the elderly, with poisoning and indigestion. Contraindications to the use of the initial letter also include various allergic reactions, since it causes hypersensitivity. Since the plant has a strong sedative effect, it should not be used to treat people in a depressed state. The use of cap-based drugs is not recommended for severe hypotension; caution should be used for gastritis with low acidity, varicose veins, thrombosis and thrombophlebitis, as well as for severe heart diseases.


Initial letter medicinal (lat. Betonica officinalis) is a species of the genus Chistec (lat. Stachys) of the family Labiaceae, or Lamiaceae (lat. Lamiaceae, or Labiatae). The genus unites over 200 species of herbaceous plants (in most cases) and shrubs, which grow mainly in the temperate and subtropical zones of both hemispheres and in the mountains of the tropics.


It is distributed almost everywhere, especially in the European part of Russia and Western Siberia. It grows in glades, moist meadows, in deciduous and mixed forests, among thickets of shrubs (often in pastures, mountain meadows, in light forests). It prefers slightly acidic, sandy, clay soils, from lowlands to foothills.

Harvesting of raw materials

The whole plant possesses healing properties, therefore, the entire aerial part is harvested during flowering, the tops up to 30 cm long are cut with scissors. The roots are usually harvested in the fall. Raw materials are dried in the shade, in well-ventilated rooms, in attics, under canopies, laid out in a thin layer, or in dryers at a temperature not exceeding 40-50 ° C. Finished raw materials are stored in paper bags, preferably in dry rooms - 2 years.

Chemical composition

Initial letter is rich in essential oils of complex composition (aromatic substances: alcohols, phenols, terpenes, aldehydes, ketones and other organic compounds). Tannins, bitterness, alkaloids, proteins, resins, mucus, flavonoids, nitrogen-containing compounds betaine, concreteitin, pigments, vitamins K and C, calcium salts and organic acids are also found in the aerial part of the initial medicine.

Pharmacological properties

The therapeutic effect of the herb of the initial letter has been studied rather poorly. Meanwhile, the plant has well-defined pharmacological properties (anti-inflammatory, wound healing, expectorant, hemostatic, choleretic, diuretic, laxative, sedative, sedative, etc.) and can be used to treat many diseases. For example, a pronounced restorative property may well be used as an aid in the rehabilitation period after serious illness. In addition, the letter has a beneficial effect on metabolism in general and digestion. Also, the initial letter lowers blood pressure, improves blood circulation.

In addition, the beneficial effect of the initial letter for colds, bronchitis, pulmonary tuberculosis, cough, and sore throat was noted.

Historical reference

The medical use of the initial letter has been known since ancient times. At Roman doctors, it was of primary medicinal value, for example, Dioscorides and Galen considered the letter a powerful medicinal plant for many diseases.And the court physician of Augustus (Anthony Muse) cured the emperor with the help of the initial letter, for which he received a large award and during his lifetime a marble statue was erected to him.

The ancient healers believed that the letter has the power of “breeding, quixotic, strengthening.” Doctors of the past (Gil Dan, Krantz et al.) Recommended an initial letter for “cold aches,” for damage to the lungs and kidneys. G. Sobolevsky also emphasizes that the letter was "in great honor and use" by the ancient Roman doctors.

One of the Italian doctors considered the initial letter to be a panacea for almost all ailments; he recommended it for uterine seizures and fainting, headache and gout, numbness of the limbs and black blockages, jaundice and phlegm consumption. Other doctors considered the initial letter a mysterious remedy. Decoction in red wine was given with scurvy and other debilitating diarrhea.

Numerous handwritten textbooks and herbalists of the XV-XVIII centuries described the letter as an excellent medicine. In these ancient medical books it was believed: "33 ailments can be treated with the initial letter." The Bashkir healer and writer Rim Akhmedov in his book "In plants is healing power" about the initial letter of medicine writes: "The initial letter is truly universal. Pharmacologists underestimate this modest-looking plant, only some herb experts know its value. ”

The initial letter was a constant companion in military campaigns of past centuries. Even Suvorov recommended that his soldiers with a “strong stomach” use infusions of the initial letter grass, and a decoction of its leaves as a laxative.

The modern scientific name of the initial medicine (Betonica officinalis) comes from "betonica", which was also called by the inhabitants of the Roman Empire.

There is a second name for the initial letter of medicine - purifier officinalis.

Application in traditional medicine

Drugs from the initial letter have been used since ancient times due to its properties - expectorant, sedative, analgesic, choleretic, hemostatic, antiseptic. In ancient folk medicine, the initial letter grass with flowers was used for nerve weakness, headaches and convulsive diseases. In those days, the grass was used for fatigue, irritability, heartburn, cough, gout, diseases of the throat, liver and stomach, chest diseases and many other diseases. Rhizome was used as a laxative and emetic.

Many modern herbalists call the initial letter a universal healer and are also widely used in folk medicine for diseases of the respiratory tract, diseases of the lungs and bronchi of infectious origin, digestive tract, tonsillitis, stomatitis, periodontal disease, skin diseases, conjunctivitis. A rhizome broth is also used for nervous diseases, weakness, decreased appetite, liver, kidney, gastritis, and colitis. The aerial part of the initial letter is used to improve metabolism, from pressure, with fainting, hysteria, poor blood circulation, with pulmonary and uterine bleeding, colds, prolonged chronic cough, asthma, especially pulmonary tuberculosis.

Initial letter tea is recommended for elderly people with a tendency to atherosclerosis, high blood pressure, with a loss of strength, etc.

Fresh crushed leaves of the initial letter are applied to long-term healing wounds and ulcers. Outwardly, the initial letter is used for rheumatism, tumors in the form of lotions and compresses, and poultices from the leaves are applied with bites of rabid animals.

In dermatology, an infusion of herbs, initial letters are used orally for eczema, scleroderma (as a general strengthening and anti-inflammatory agent) and psoriasis. With increased sweating of the hands and feet, baths with grass letters are recommended, and with skin cancer, poultices from the roots.